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Judge OKs Takata request to halt some lawsuits over air bags

Auto parts maker said allowing the lawsuits to proceed would jeopardize its restructuring efforts.


DOVER, Del. — A Delaware bankruptcy judge is temporarily halting the prosecution of lawsuits filed by Hawaii, New Mexico and the US Virgin Islands against Japanese auto-parts supplier Takata over its lethally defective air bag inflators.

Judge Brendan Shannon ordered the 90-day stay Aug. 16 after hearing arguments last week on Takata’s request to halt hundreds of air bag-related lawsuits while it works on a reorganization plan.

Shannon also granted Takata’s request to temporarily halt individual lawsuits against automobile manufacturers who installed the faulty air bags. But he refused to extend that ruling to scores of lawsuits consolidated in a federal multi-district litigation case in Miami.

Takata said allowing the lawsuits to proceed would jeopardize its restructuring efforts.

Takata was forced into bankruptcy amid lawsuits, multimillion-dollar fines and crushing air bag recall costs.

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